Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Jedi Mind Tricks for fun and profit

Last week, the police finally caught some guy in Nevada who gradually stole $600,000 worth of LEGO and resold them online. The guy's scheme consisted of going into various Target stores throughout four different states, finding the really big expensive sets and switching the barcodes with much lower priced LEGO items before purchasing them. According to the article, the police needed a 20 foot truck to haul his remaining sets away.

Though the CNN piece is brief, I'm guessing that this guy specifically took tags from sets like #4488 (Retail $6.99) ...

... and switched them with sets like #4504 (Retail $99.99) ...

... thus netting a profit of over 90 dollars per purchase. Since both are named "Millennium Falcon" and therefore would be the name that popped up on the scanner display, he was able to dupe a whole lot of cashiers before getting caught. This isn't even the worst of them. He may have been able to do a switch with some "Star Destroyers" models as well. The difference between models #4492 and #10030 is just under $300!

I'm sure this has gone down through memos at Target headquarters already, but allow me to emphasize this to all those unwitting cashiers out there: The only time you would be selling a 900 piece set for less than ten bucks is in a LEGO maniac's wet dream.

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